Process outline 02

We left off with a stack of board like parts that are still fresh and wet. Now we wait a week or so. at least until the faces of the material dry out a little. They will carve better at this stage. When not fully dry but not completely wet either. The faces will also plane smooth better. Now is also the time to turn, on the lathe, any round parts in the work.

this is where the processes take a big fork in the road sort of divergence. In actuality some of the divergence will have started back when I was splitting the wood. While I split out parts I am thinking of what I will be making. But if I am making a chair I might not be carving, or I might, depending upon chair type, or a box or a chest, it all gets a little different. But many of the process concepts are the same so I will just continue with this small box.

So to start with the carving I need to decide on the final size of the parts, and decide on which type of decoration/carvings each part is going to receive. There are almost too many traditional or ancient carving patterns to choose from. Follow the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sam (or Sir, or Sally, or Stupid, whatevs). You can do a lot with just 3 or 4 carving tools.

Take the smallest part, decide how much needs to be cut off to make it good. Use a square and scratch a line where you will eventually cut it off. DO NOT CUT IT RIGHT NOW! You can use any extra for fastening it to the bench or to a scrap board to hold it down.


Then mark each matching part from the first part.


NOTICE that I have not used a measuring device of any sort yet. Not even to set the marking gage in the previous post.

Decide on your carving. Mark horizontal lines with your scribe/gage. Mark vertical lines with a square (marking from the edge you squared up first), and arcs with a divider. If you need to you can sketch with white chalk (or the natural tan chalk) on the wood. Uncolored chalk will vanish when you apply a finish or wax the wood.


As carving is an entire subject that I don’t propose to cover here, here are a few pictures during the carving so we can get back to the making.

Once I have an adequate set of parts I can continue the construction.

P1020382I cut them to length. and do a quick trim to square the ends.


then I stand them up and decide which end and which face goes where.

The front and back will get rabbets (rebates) to fit the sides. And the inside of the sides are not exactly flat straight or square (you may have noticed that I spent no effort to make them exact) So I lay the front and back face down. And I stand the sides up in place so that I can scribe the line where it fits on the inside. You should probably mark the insides of the parts to make sure that you don’t mix them up.

I set a gage to mark the depth of the rabbet, leaving enough depth for scalloping the edge as a final detail.. and mark all around where the rabbet goes from the face of the front and back.

I saw down on the backside (just like making a tenon). A “modern” woodworker might (here) insist on making a tight joint on the inside where it “isn’t seen”. There is considerable evidence that preindustrial woodworkers, trying to make things go together fast, purposefully made sure there was no interference between parts that did not need to touch. So many joints look open on the backsides. And then I nail or peg the parts together. And I split out the waste and trim the rabbet with the wide chisel.

I will make a pine top and bottom for this box. The bottom will get nailed or pegged on just like the sides, and the lid will get the gimbal hinges that I made for it….



After Carving the parts should be left to dry more…

That is in essence the process. it varies in minor details depending on project but the concept is the same.

be well;





One response to “Process outline 02”

  1. TY for posting, it was unbelieveably informative and helped me a ton

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